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ADC to INEC: Conduct credible election in Kogi

The African Democratic Congress (ADC) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free, fair and credible governorship election slated for November…

The African Democratic Congress (ADC) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free, fair and credible governorship election slated for November 11 in Kogi State.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, the ADC National Chairman, Dr. Ralphs Okey Nwosu, also called on political stakeholders in the state to allow the leadership of the state to rotate among the three senatorial zones. 

Nwosu said equity, not domination grows democracy, fuel development and creates a harmonious and secure environment for economic enlargement for all. 

He said, “For the first 16 years the Igala people (Kogi East) felt it was proper to occupy the Lugard House, at the exclusion of the other two senatorial areas, the Okun and the Igbira.

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“The Igbira of the Kogi Central senatorial zones were once calling for equity, but now, the two terms of eight years for Governor Yahaya Bello are not enough? They seem not to have learnt from the past and the ‘lion’ is intent on keeping power in Igbira land for God knows how long. To these two power blocs, the Okun people of Kogi West senatorial area seem irrelevant and do not matter.

“The fact that Nigeria has diversity of people and cultures has provided resiliency in spite of our country’s failures. Continuously undermining each other because of ethnicity, tribe, religion or language affects the quality of governance, leadership culture and development with adverse impact on the character, psychology and socialisation of our people. 

“The elites who hide under whatever guise to perpetuate or watch such indiscretions will be victims of the opportunism of the quicksand on which they have taken refuge.”

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa Democratic Coalition, a forum advocating transparent and peaceful governance in the state, has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to respect the decision of a Federal High Court, which disqualified the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timipre Sylva, from participating in next month’s governorship election in the state.

The court, in a judgement delivered by Justice Donatus Okorowo, ruled that Sylva, having been sworn in twice and served five years as governor of the state, would breach the 1999 constitution as amended if allowed to contest again.

The constitution allows a maximum tenure of eight years for a governor.

The APC in the state said it will appeal the judgement.

The coordinator of the coalition, Orama David, in a statement on Monday, said the court’s decision was seen as a crucial step towards ensuring a violence-free and credible governorship election in the state.

He said, “The Federal High Court’s verdict has reaffirmed our faith in the judicial system and its commitment to upholding the rule of law.

“We call on all stakeholders, including political parties, candidates, and the electorate, to uphold the spirit of peaceful and violence-free elections.

“As we approach the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State, we encourage INEC, all parties and candidates to respect the court’s decision, conduct their campaigns within the bounds of the law, and work collaboratively to create an atmosphere of peace and security for the electorate.”

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